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Kimberly  Fast
Principal
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Principal's Corner

Don’t Miss the Moments

My mind was flying in a hundred directions as I buckled my daughter into her car seat and jumped in the car. We had one hour to do too many errands before the boys needed to be picked up from a playdate. Kiah was chattering as only a three year old can, and I was trying to “tune her out” as I gathered my thoughts. To make matters worse, there was an engaging speaker on the radio and I had one ear in that direction. Finally out of exasperation I turned and said, “Kiah, be quiet, mommy’s trying to listen to this.”

When the program ended, I turned back and asked, still somewhat impatiently, “Now Kiah, what did you want to tell me?”

She smiled as she reached out her hand, “Mommy, will you always be my best friend?’ The question cut to my heart. I had been so focused on my agenda, I almost missed a priceless memory.

                This incident also made me think of each of you. Most days it would be impossible to add one more thing to your “to do” list. Between work, school drop off and pick-up, errands, dance, football, soccer, playdates, home repairs, lawn work, getting supper on the table, baths, getting teeth brushed, and bedtime …the day flies away. In the business of life, we can miss the moments that allow connection with our child.

                Here are 5 ways to connect with your child in the “moments.”

1.       Take time to read to your child. Not only is that a precious time of closeness but educational research reports that child who are read to on a consistent basis do significantly better in school. That’s a win/win!

2.       When the lights are out, and your child is tucked into bed, let them hear you pray prayers of blessing over them. Thank God for their kind hearts, listening ears, great laugh, helpful spirit or funny sense of humor. Praise Him for WHO He has made them rather than WHAT they do. Affirming your child is an ongoing gift they will treasure.

3.       Start a date day with your child. Choose one evening or Saturday a month when you play uninterrupted with your child. You don’t have to go anywhere or spend any money. An hour of playing with Legos, coloring or riding bike communicates the joy you find in their presence.

4.       Shut off your phone in the evening between supper and bedtime. In ten years, you will not remember the text or email that came through, or care about that Facebook post, but investing now in your relationship with your child will matter in 10 years.

5.       Be careful not to interrupt your child. We have all had instances where the story drags on, or there doesn’t seem to be a point to your child’s rambling. We inadvertently communicate to our child that their thoughts, feelings and ideas are not important enough to us. Don’t be afraid to really listen. Listen to the silliness. Listen to their stories. Listen to their heart.

 

In Matthew 13:9 Jesus admonished us to “He who has ears, let him hear”. He didn’t ask us to do anything that He hadn’t modeled. Jesus’ example to us involved listening with His heart. Your child needs your listening heart. They need you to take them aside and share a word of encouragement. They need to hear you pray for them daily. They need moments of quiet closeness, not our distracted attention. They need to feel absolutely certain that their relationship with you is more important than anything else on “your list.”

 

Mom and Dad…Don’t miss the moments! Here’s to enjoying the ride of parenthood! In the little moments, you are planting the seeds for a lifelong friendship!